Makerspaces: What Does This Mean for the Arts Budget?
Talk about packaging old ideas in new ways....have you heard of Makerspaces?"They are popping up all over the place - dedicated places where students can go to...well...essentially, make things. These DIY spaces are dedicated locations where students gather to create, invent, network and build. As far as we're concerned, it's the re-institution of all of the arts and trade education that's been cut from school budgets over the last several years, but in a wholesale way. We love them! They bring back to our education system the notion that it's important for kids to learn to be creative and inventive. They encourage our kids to learn how to think and grow as individuals. Maker Spaces take on a variety of forms, but no matter what, they foster experimentation, innovation, and exploration. Stocked with everything from art supplies to computers to building materials and more, kids are encouraged to visit the spaces and develop and complete their own projects. Even U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. recently hopped on board the Maker Space bandwagon. In a recent newspaper editorial, he called on schools throughout the country to create spaces where students can get their hands dirty! "We have to make sure that all our students have access to these kinds of challenging and hands-on activities. ... That's why, today, the Department of Education is issuing a call to action to give every student opportunities to use these advanced tools and leverage the act of making for real learning. Achieving this goal will require creating 'maker spaces' in schools and after-school programs and recruiting talented mentors for our students." We applaud these new initiatives in education initiatives that recognize that creativity and innovation are the keys to both personal and societal advancement. We don't care what they call it....Maker Spaces certainly works. We're just thrilled to see a movement back to programs that foster the arts! What are your thoughts on maker spaces? Comment below or share your opinions with us on Facebook or Twitter!